Party-goers celebrate end of lockdown as nightclubs reopen from midnight

19 July 2021, 07:39 | Updated: 19 July 2021, 15:48

People celebrated the reopening of nightclubs at midnight.
People celebrated the reopening of nightclubs at midnight. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

Thousands of people last night celebrated the reopening of nightclubs as lockdown restrictions were lifted from midnight.

Party-goers around the country described the midnight reopening as being "like New Year" while queuing for their favourite venues.

Clubs had been shut since March 2020 due to the pandemic.

At Egg nightclub in North London, fundraiser Chloe Waite, 37 - who was first in line - said: "It's going to be a special night."

"For me this is a New Year's-type event and something we're going to remember for a long, long time and we might not get the opportunity for a while."

Read more: Freedom Day: Most lockdown restrictions lift in England

Read more: James O'Brien caller 'absolutely terrified' as 'Freedom Day' looms

Dancers across the country queued in anticipation for clubs to reopen their doors.
Dancers across the country queued in anticipation for clubs to reopen their doors. Picture: PA
The momentous occasion was marked by the cutting of a ribbon.
The momentous occasion was marked by the cutting of a ribbon. Picture: PA
Party-goers danced along with their friends to mark the occasion.
Party-goers danced along with their friends to mark the occasion. Picture: PA

DJ Patrick Topping - who appeared at Digital nightclub in Newcastle - told LBC: "Just to see clubs are open again - it's a buzz."

"It's what I do, it's what I love, so it's just amazing seeing all the people here and everyone was going mental before."

Crowds took to the dance floor at The Piano Works in London
Crowds took to the dance floor at The Piano Works in London. Picture: PA
The drinks were flowing throughout the opening night.
The drinks were flowing throughout the opening night. Picture: PA
There were smiles all around as crowds made their way back to the dance floor.
There were smiles all around as crowds made their way back to the dance floor. Picture: PA

People in Leeds eagerly awaited the opening of Bar Fibre too.

The bar's owner, Terry George, said that the evening before had been labelled 'Freedom Eve'.

"It feels so special," he said.

"People are treating it like a very special occasion, like a New Year's Eve type affair. Freedom Eve is what we're calling it.

"Finally, we're going to be able to dance. That's the biggest thing, which is kind of a little bit sad really, because we're given back something that's our given right, to be able to dance in a bar, in a club.

"It should've been something that was there much earlier than this."

Read more: PM admits he 'briefly' considered not self-isolating but now will until 26 July

It comes as 19 July marks the unlocking of the country in step four of its roadmap out of lockdown.

'Freedom Day' also saw the lifting of legal requirements such as wearing faces masks and social distancing.

That said, the government has introduced guidelines to ensure the public move forward with caution in coming weeks.

In a video shared on Twitter, Boris Johnson urged "prudence and respect for other people" as restrictions continue to ease.